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Doctors At Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Protest Deputy Shooting Of Patient

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Doctors at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center are holding a rally today to protest the shooting of a mentally ill patient inside the facility by an L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy last week.

The Sheriff’s Department says a male Hispanic patient between 30 and 40 years old was smashing things with a metal medical device when he “turned his attention” on a deputy who was guarding a patient in another room.

The deputy opened fire, critically wounding the man.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva added later that it was like a scene out of the movie “The Shining.” The Frontline Wellness Network tweeted that the sheriff's comment was “an offensive attempt to demonize” a patient in a psychiatric crisis.

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The deputy should have let hospital staff handle the situation, said Harbor-UCLA Dr. Lorenzo Gonzalez:

“We are very capable of handling agitated patients — patients with mental illnesses. These are things that we have specialized staff that are trained in order to de-escalate this.”

Gonzalez said guns should be banned from public hospitals.

The Board of Supervisors asked the inspector general to investigate the incident and called for a review of security procedures at public hospitals.

This is not the first shooting at Harbor-UCLA. In 2015, an LAPD officer fatally shot Ruben Herrara, 26, after he allegedly reached for his gun. The city of L.A. later paid Herrara's family $3.9 million to settle a federal wrongful death lawsuit.

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